Disabled kids to reach new heights in Brighouse after Sport England climbing funding

A ground-breaking new climbing scheme giving families with disabled children the chance to climb together is set to launch.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

ROKT Foundation has secured funding from Sport England for Climbing For All Families where parents and siblings of children with special educational needs and physical disabilities can climb together - which is something of a rarity.

Many courses give disabled youngsters the chance to climb, but often just on their own. This course is designed to include the whole family group.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Brighouse-based charity trialled the concept last year and after overwhelmingly positive feedback, Sport England, Creative Minds and Yorkshire Sport are backing them to roll it out to up to 100 families in 2024 thanks to funding of nearly £20,000.

Lilly, Martha, Fia at ROKT Foundation, ready to climbLilly, Martha, Fia at ROKT Foundation, ready to climb
Lilly, Martha, Fia at ROKT Foundation, ready to climb
Read More
See if you can spot Todmorden in new trailer for ITV series Passenger that as fi...

Katie Kinsella, Director of ROKT Foundation, said: “We were told by a lot of families we come into contact with that having children with special educational needs and physical disabilities often makes it near impossible to have whole family experiences where they can all take part in the same activity. We wanted to change that through the power of climbing – and putting our specialist training, knowledge and equipment to good use.

“There are lots of great courses out there doing brilliant things. Where our courses differ is that it’s for the entire family, not just one participant with additional needs.

“It’s not just limited to climbing because we’re experts in the whole urban activity arena. So families can enjoy rope climbing, harness swinging, bouldering, indoor caving, Project Breakout escape rooms and indoor abseiling.”

The Brighouse-based charity trialled the concept last year and after overwhelmingly positive feedback, Sport England, Creative Minds and Yorkshire Sport are backing them to roll it out to up to 100 families in 2024 thanks to funding of nearly £20,000.The Brighouse-based charity trialled the concept last year and after overwhelmingly positive feedback, Sport England, Creative Minds and Yorkshire Sport are backing them to roll it out to up to 100 families in 2024 thanks to funding of nearly £20,000.
The Brighouse-based charity trialled the concept last year and after overwhelmingly positive feedback, Sport England, Creative Minds and Yorkshire Sport are backing them to roll it out to up to 100 families in 2024 thanks to funding of nearly £20,000.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The course includes specially adapted climbing equipment like harness swings that can go up to 10 metres in the air.

Zoe Skelly, a mum-of-three kids who has experienced the Climbing For All Families programme, said: “I have three very different girls with different needs, so we do struggle in terms of what we can do together.

“This is amazing though. When I initially applied I didn’t realise it was something we could all do together as a family. For Martha to be able to climb like her sisters is brilliant, it’s done amazing things for Lilly’s confidence – doing things we never thought she’d do – and it’s been brilliant for Fia who has got just as much out of it as the other two who have additional needs.

“The ROKT Foundation instructors are so patient and just fantastic. All three kids have achieved things in such a short space of time that I never thought they would do.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cat Clements, head of disability at Sport England, added: “Projects like this make a real difference not just to one child, but the whole family. Data from our latest Active Lives Survey shows that activity is less common for adults with a disability or long-term health condition than those without.

“So, to be able to get children with disabilities and special educational needs active and involved alongside their siblings and parents from a young age can only enhance the chances of them staying physically active well into adulthood.

“It starts now and it starts young, so ROKT Foundation’s work in this area is vital and we’re delighted to support it.”

Related topics: